Around the world St Patrick’s Day is a familiar tradition to many of us, and a global celebration of what it means to be Irish. ONE’s Youth Ambassadors in Ireland are part of a proud history of activism and support for human rights, using their creativity and determination as campaigners to help people living in the world’s poorest countries.
In keeping with the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, we asked five of our Ireland Youth Ambassadors – Riya (Dublin), Megan, Claragh, Tessa (Cork) and Clara (Cavan) – what inspires them about the country they live in, how they want to see Ireland leading around the world, and what they are doing to make it happen.
What makes you proud to be Irish?
Tessa: “I am proud to be Irish because of the great humanitarian spirit here and because of the vast strides we have made in attitudes and policy to become a more accepting nation.”
Megan: “Being Irish makes me so proud, because we have such a great country when it comes to helping those who are in need of our help. Whether it be helping those at home or abroad, the strive and dedication that the Irish people have, really does make me proud to be Irish.”
Claragh: “The sense that the Irish will never tolerate injustice for long”
How would you like to see Ireland leading around the world?
Tessa: “It is not long ago Ireland was a poor country, I think Ireland should be helping underdeveloped countries make the progress we have made.”
Riya: “Ireland has been very actively involved in tackling social problems around the globe. It has been providing aid to the developing countries in terms of improving the education facilities, health status, and poverty elimination. Ireland should keep on supporting the underdeveloped countries by increasing its budget and should have a proper check and balance system and accountability.”
Clara: “I think Ireland should be actively working towards reaching the target of 0.7 percent GNP being allocated to developmental aid, in line with UN goals. I think Ireland should also be striving for equality for women and girls internationally- this is of paramount importance when fighting global poverty.”
Claragh: “Yes, absolutely, lobbying the Irish government on important issues such as the #PovertyIsSexist campaign is such an enormous part of the Youth Ambassador programme.”
Riya: “We are encouraging people throughout the world to make a short video on ‘Girl’s education’ in order to remind people that gender inequality still exists and it is the time to put the law into action. As a ONE youth ambassador, we are not just focussing on solution but on the implementation and make the things happen.”
Clara: “Hopefully as a Youth Ambassador I can help to ensure that developmental aid is directed towards the education of girls, for when girls are educated, everyone benefits.”
Who is a great Irish role model?
Tessa: “Mary Robinson is a great Irish role model she transformed the presidency from a figurehead position and is still very active humanitarian.”
Megan: “Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington is both a great Irish role model and activist. A feminist and founding member of the Irish Women Workers Union, she believed in the equal rights of women and especially when it came to their right to vote. She dedicated her life for the equal rights for women and to ensure that we all had the same rights as men.”